Obama and Illinois and Asian Americans

I was extremely happy to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama, it was very exciting to see America finally moving forward on many fronts. Science, the environment, and political discourse, today finally got a break. Millions around the world witness the 44th peaceful transition of power to an African-American for the first time. What a remarkable accomplishment almost 43 years after the civil rights movement, and 143 years after the Civil War. Barack who was born to a white mother, and African father, without any high society connections became the most powerful man in the world today. Barack was also a guy who choose to take unconventional paths, and shunned some of the best offers a lawyer could dream of, and choose to become a community organizer. The rest is of course American history.

Now I promise I’d talk about Asian Americans, Eric Shinseki, the first Japanese American to become a four-star general, and the first Asian American to lead a branch of the armed forces, was confirmed unanimously for Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of Veteran Affairs. Here’s a guy who challenged Bush got fired basically, and because of his ability to stand up for what he believed in was rewarded. Another now prominent Asian American in politics, second-generation Chinese American Steven Chu a Nobel-prize winning physicist was appointed to be secretary of energy. Chu himself took an unconventional path, he was rejected by all Ivy league schools and still went on to win the Nobel Prize. Now he has become the top scientist in the Obama administration. Although not Asian Patti Solis Doyle deserves honorable mention as becoming the first Hispanic woman to be in charge of a political campaign for president, and the first Hispanic chief of staff for Hillary Clinton.

The point is, we live in pretty exciting times, I think because if you look around the Democratic Party you see Asian Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanic Americans moving into mainstream politics. Now you have to ask yourself how come the republican party isn’t as inclusive, why does the republican party shun diversity, and if you wish to argue with me about this. That argument would be very hard to carry. One thing you should note is all the people above broke societal conventions, they did not worry about playing by the rules or worry about making profit, they worried about what was right. And in the end that’s all I think matters.


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